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The Jeremy Bentham Pub

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by Mike Whyte (subscribe)
Visit me at mykadelicaphotos.webs.com - a creative, friendly space for creative, friendly people...
Published July 7th 2011

There are lots of places to have a pint in the evening - I've told you all that before, yet how many places can you think of where you will drink in the auspicious company of one of London's most radical thinkers?

The Jeremy Bentham is named after a famous philosopher, a bust of whom can be found in the pub itself, completely made from wax. More about the significance of this later. It is not just your typical after work pub either, but is also very student friendly, being that it is a quick crawl away from London's famous UCL University.

It is also a real ale pub, for those who don't know what this means, let me educate you. This means that the beer is served from barrels and is drawn from the barrels to the glass via a hand pump - so therefore the ales are known affectionately also as hand-pulls. The ales, as they usually are, are usually quite flat, and served at room temperature, but have a remarkable range of diversity, thanks to being produced in small batches by independent brewers. Also it is worth looking out for some of the names - as these can be quite revealing (or quite cryptic depending on the sense of humour of the brewer).

Okay, lesson over - back to Mr. Bentham - now the special part of visiting can actually be seen via the plaque on the wall outside, which gives a little insight into some of London's weirder practices.
Jeremy Bentham is known commonly amongst academia as the spiritual founder of the UCL University. Inside the college there is an Auto-Icon, which is actually a wooden box holding his skeleton dressed in his original clothes and a wax head on top of the torso. The original head is kept in the vaults of the University, but sometimes emerges for meetings of the college council - recording a note of 'present but not voting' in the meetings notes. Suddenly the wax head in the pub doesn't seem so insignificant.
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Why? To have a nice pint, and learn about some of the stranger practices in London
When: Good during the day, crowded at the end of the working day
Where: 31, University St, London, WC1E 6J
Cost: Reasonable, especially as its real ale and real food you're getting
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